PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on as he coaches against the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
This is how bad today's game was. At about the 6 minute mark of the 4th quarter, CBS decided to shut off Eagles Vs Patriots and "switch to a more competitive game," which was Denver at San Diego. If you live in Philly or Boston, you saw the end of the game, but the rest of the country did not.
That's how bad things have gotten. Really, the blowout was the one thing this season really lacked. As bad as the Eagles have looked at times, they've still been in pretty much every game at the end. Obviously you have to be in games in the fourth quarter to blow five leads. But the point is, that we've at least been able to tell ourselves that we were close. If one play here or there had gone differently we could have won. But not today. Today shattered whatever illusions may have been left.
Here are a few stats that sum up how things went today.
- The Eagles did not convert a third down in this game until the very end of the third quarter.
- With 8 minutes left in the game. Tom Brady had 28 yards rushing on five carries. LeSean McCoy had 33 yards on 9 carries. Yes, Tom Brady only had four fewer carries than the NFL's leading rusher. McCoy finished the game with 10 carries for 31 yards. Vince Young had six carries for 40 yards.
The abandonment of the running game has always been a major source of frustration for Eagles fans, but one particular call may have broke the camel's back. The Eagles trailed 31-13 late in the third and had a 4th and 1 near the goal line. Rather than run the ball, they called a play action roll out where Vince Young overthrew Brent Celek on a fade pass.
It was one of those play calls that just infuriates everyone watching. The Eagles are the top rushing team in the NFL with the the NFL's leading rusher and they call a play that cuts the field down into a quarter in the already tight space of a goal line play. The throw was poor from Young, but the play was pretty well covered either way.
That's when the "fire Andy" chants started.
The chants didn't stop there either. From that point on, whenever something went bad "Fire Andy" could be heard loud and clear from the fans that had actually stuck around. The only time the fans gave Andy a break is when they decided to boo DeSean Jackson, who had one of the worst games of his Eagles career. He had three drops on the day and drew the ire of the crowd on three specific occasions.
The first came after he dropped a perfectly thrown pass in the end zone that would have made the score 17-21. The worst part was that Jackson appeared to be concerned about getting hit on the play and may not have put his full attention into making the catch. He got himself a second helping of boos when late in the third quarter he opted not to fair catch a punt that took a big Patriots bounce and put the Eagles in terrible field position. Remember, this is a guy who said he deserves to be paid as much as Larry Fitzgerald because he contributes on special teams and Fitz doesn't.
Just to top it off, DeSean dropped yet another would be TD pass when Vince Young hit him with a perfect deep pass over two Patriots defenders. Just like the first one, the ball went right through his hands. This is a guy who feels he should be paid $10 million per year as an elite WR in this league. He finished the game benched for the 4th quarter.
There's so much more ugliness we'll get to in the coming days, because at this point who wants to go over this all right now. It was an all around awful display and one fans won't soon forget.
If could just single out one guy to thank for his effort today, it would be Jason Avant. He went over the middle time and time again making tough catches and giving maximum effort despite the score. He finished with 8 catches for 110 yards and was rewarded with a TD in garbage time as well. If DeSean Jackson had even half of his heart, he'd be the best WR in the NFL.